Within minutes of Railway Minister presenting the Rail Budget 2013, there were bouquets and brickbats for him. Most leaders from the Congress praised the budget and the minister. The opposition and even some of the allies were not so kind. Here are some of the political reactions from across parties:
Mayawati, Chief, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP):
The poor and middle classes will not benefit much from it...Fare has been hiked through backdoor.
Narendra Modi, Chief Minister, Gujarat:
On one hand the UPA has failed to curb the menace of price rise, while on the other hand, this railway budget will burden the poor and middle class. By saying that there is no hike in rail tariffs, the Railway Minister is misleading the nation. Despite railways getting maximum income from Gujarat, the people of Gujarat are being rendered immense injustice for the last nine years. (Rail Budget reflects UPA's non-performance: Narendra Modi
Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister, Bihar:
Backward states like Bihar have been ignored. It has the highest number of passengers but there is no new train. We have some good projects in our state but funds have not been allocated to us. It's a disappointing budget.(Read: Why no new trains for Bihar, asks Nitish Kumar)
Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Odisha:
Supplementary charges for superfast trains, besides increase in reservation fee, cancellation charge and tatkal charges will indirectly increase the passenger fare. (Supplementary charges will indirectly increase fare charge: Naveen Patnaik
Gopinath Munde, BJP leader:
This is not a Rail Budget, this is a Rae Bareli budget. This budget is in favour of limited states. There are no schemes for Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar and Chhattisgarh in this budget. Yashwant Sinha, Senior BJP Leader:
It's a populist election budget which has addressed the Cong concerns not large regional issue and aspirations. Freight hike will add to inflationary trends. One good thing is concessions to armed forces. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:
The Railway Budget is reformist and forward-looking, The Budget presents a realistic picture of railways. I compliment the minister for his innovations in critical areas of railway infrastructure and paving the way for capacity expansion. P Chidambaram, Finance Minister:
It is a remarkable and commendable budget. It is responsible and practical one within the resources the railways has mobilized.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, Chief, Samajwadi Party:
In six -seven districts from where we come from, there has not been a single line added. He is a minister for all - they cannot take sides... This is a budget for the Congress party. There has never been such opposition to any rail budget.
Sharad Yadav, Chief, JDU:
State like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Assam, Bengal were ignored. They haven't concentrated on the right areas. No new lines in small areas.
Praful Patel, Senior Leader, NCP:
Pawan Bansal has tried to help all sections. He has done many things so as to ensure there is no rise in prices for the commuter. Salman Khurshid, Minister of External Affairs:
I think he has done a very good balancing act. He has has tried to explain the demands for growth and constraints. Priya Dutt, Congress MP:
Keeping in mind the increase in women commuters in Mumbai, I was very keen that basic amenities like toilets and drinking water on railway stations as well as security for them be improved. I am thankful to the Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, for considering this and also for his plan to spruce up the Railway Protection Force to increase passenger safety. The plan to increase women police in the Railway Protection Force will help increase the safety of women passengers.